Bristol GBBO Star, Briony Williams, announced as Great Bristol 10k University Ambassador

The University is delighted to announce Briony Williams as their Ambassador for this year’s Great Bristol 10k in May.  

Briony, who lives in Bristol and studied for her post-graduate qualification in teaching at the University, became a household name when she starred in the 2018 series of the Great British Bake-Off, making it all the way to the semi-finals.  

Briony went on to win the 2019 edition of The Great Christmas Bake-Off, and it’s also been announced that she has joined the presenting team of Channel 4’s  ‘Food Unwrapped’. As well as her TV appearances, Briony writes regularly for food magazines and features at food-festivals around the country! 

So, where does running fit in? We wondered the same!  

When she’s not creating masterpieces in her kitchen, Briony admits be being a keen runner. To date, she has taken on several 10k races and a couple of half-marathons, with more lined up for this year.  

This year, the University Bristol 10k campaign is focusing on the benefits that running, and being more physically active in general, can bring to our mental health – something Briony is a huge advocate for.  

Announcing her ambassadorship on Instagram, Briony wrote, “I’m really excited to be championing two things I care about so deeply: running and mental health” 

https://www.instagram.com/p/B79Cb2whXid/

We are thrilled that Briony will be running alongside our students, staff and alumni in the gigantic University Wave, and working with us in the lead-up to the event to encourage everyone on campus – runners and non-runners alike – to get active to support more positive physical and mental health and wellbeing at the same time as raising awareness and funds for the University’s B:Active Healthy Minds initiative. 

Almost 500 students, staff and alumni has already signed up to this iconic Bristol event! Get up, get together, and get active by lacing up your trainers and joining #TeamUoBristol for this year’s Great Bristol 10k on Sunday 3 May.   
 

Sign up for the University Wave

If you are University of Bristol staff, Student or Alumni, you can sign up to run the Great Bristol 10k with discounted entry.

Student Spotlight: Astrid Blee (Bristol Uni Run Leader)

At Bristol Uni Sport we’re expanding our community of student and staff Run Leaders! Whether you’re a cross-country superstar, or total beginner, it doesn’t matter – we’re simply looking for enthusiastic, community-minded individuals to get involved and support your peers in keeping active this year.

Astrid, Bristol Uni PG: Run Club leader


Astrid Blee is a third-year PhD student in the School of Physics, but in her spare time she also is a Bristol Uni Run Leader. We spoke to Astrid about her experiences as a Bristol Uni Run Leader over the past 12-months, and why she thinks that you should get involved this year!

Astrid’s Run Leader journey started out when she discovered how running with other people can make the experience more enjoyable.

“I’ve always run by myself, but after trying a couple of runs with a friend of mine, I discovered that running with other people is actually good fun!”

The comradery that came with running as part of a group inspired Astrid to set up her own running group.  She thought setting up a running group would be a good way to meet new people and have fun being active together. 

“I was delighted to find out that at the same time, the university was offering the LIRF (Leadership in running Fitness) training.”

The Leadership in Running Fitness (LIRF) training is an official qualification led by England Athletics and is designed to prepare you to provide a safe and enjoyable running experience for young people over 12 years of age and adults of any ability, size or shape. Astrid applied for a place on the LIRF course, offered to prospective Bristol Uni Run Leaders for FREE by Bristol Uni Sport.  

Astrid has now been leading PG: Run Club for almost a year, and told us that the LIRF training offered by Bristol Uni Sport was really beneficial and a huge help in getting her group ‘up and running’! 

“[The LIRF training] was really good fun, and very informative – I felt really reassured.  …it’s definitely helped me with planning PG: Run Club

Astrid also takes PG: Run to Parkrun some weeks too!

And, whilst Astrid was running fairly regularly before she signed up to become a Bristol Uni Run Leader, we’re encouraging everyone from the runner-bean to running-novice to get involved with this opportunity to give something back to the #WeAreBristol community! Astrid agrees; “Some awareness of the difficulties of long distance running/training is pretty useful, [but] you definitely don’t need to be an advanced to runner to be a running leader”.

Becoming a Run Leader is a unique way to get active, get social and give back to the #WeAreBristol community. Astrid highlighted how rewarding the Run Leader role can be both personally, and as being part of a community that you have helped to build;

“I have loved getting to know people I’d have absolutely no interaction with otherwise – I’ve met lots of post-grads and definitely made new friends!

It’s really satisfying to see other people’s progress as well as your own. The beginners group that I’ve been leading for about a month now have already made great steps towards running a continuous 5K (our soft goal!), which I’m really proud of.

The Run Leader role is open to staff and students, with Run Leader training taking place in December 2019 at the Coombe Dingle Sports Complex.

Astrid’s top tip before you sign-up? Don’t fret: it’s really easy to build up your own skills as well as helping others to develop. 

Click here to express your interest in joining the Run Leader team!  

If you’re a post-grad looking for a group of friendly faces to stay active with, why not join Astrid on their next run? Visit their Facebook page for all the details.

For more information about the role, email john.wilford@bristol.ac.uk.